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Rafferty Books In Order

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Publication Order of Rafferty Books

By: W. Glenn Duncan, W. Glenn Duncan Jr.
Rafferty's Rules (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Last Seen Alive (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Poor Dead Cricket (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wrong Place, Wrong Time (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fatal Sisters (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cannon's Mouth (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
False Gods: A Rafferty P.I. Mystery (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wright & Wrong (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Down The Barrel (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Rafferty: Hardboiled PI Series by W. Glenn Duncan
Author W. Glenn Duncan wrote the “Rafferty: Hardboiled PI” series of mystery novels. The series began publication in the year 1987, when “Rafferty’s Rules” was released.

The first six novels were written by Duncan from 1987 until 1990. Later novels were written by W. Glenn Duncan, Jr., who revived the series in 2018, with the release of “False Gods”.

Rafferty, who is a former cop turned private investigator, in and around the city of Dallas, Texas. It would appear that he has a rule for everything, and doesn’t mind sharing many of them.

“Fatal Sisters” won a Shamus Award for Best Paperback in the year 1991.

“Rafferty’s Rules” was sort of adapted into a movie called “Snake Eater III: His Law”. It doesn’t feature the Rafferty character, but still follows the plot of the novel fairly closely.

“Rafferty’s Rules” is the first novel in the “Rafferty: Hardboiled PI” series and was released in the year 1987. Fifteen years prior, Rafferty once saved Vivian Mollison from one crazed junkie that attempted to blow her head off. A bunch has changed since then. Rafferty isn’t a cop anymore, and Vivian’s now 25, studying sociology at SMU, with a dad that made a fortune in computers.

When Rafferty gets called to the Mollison estate and told to chase down five outlaw bikers that kidnapped Vivian and put her into a drug-induced twilight zone, it is mixed emotions. The payday is going to be major, but he will have to earn every single penny of it. The bikers will not likely come quietly and who knows just how many might get hurt in the crossfire.

Behind all of that excitement and fun, there is still a girl that needs his help. He was able to save Vivian once. Can he save her again?

“Last Seen Alive” is the second novel in the “Rafferty: Hardboiled PI” series and was released in the year 1987. Rafferty takes a vacation in a tiny Texas town when he gets arrested for a murder he didn’t do. However somebody slaughtered Cynthia Lawson, and Rafferty was one of the very last people that saw her still alive. So he’s involved, whether or not he likes it.

Faster than anybody can bet five hundred on Texas A&M in the Bowl Game, Rafferty’s up to his ass in protective ex-lovers, religious fundamentalists, shady bookies, and crooked doctors.

Even though he doesn’t normally pull a protection detail, when the accused killer’s scorned wife asks for his aid, Rafferty decides he’ll stay a bit longer in the boondocks. He isn’t convinced the police have got the right guy locked up and, if they do not, that means that the real killer is still out there somewhere.

Besides, the quicker Rafferty can clear this whole mess up, the quicker he can return to his vacation.

“Poor Dead Cricket” is the third novel in the “Rafferty: Hardboiled PI” series and was released in the year 1988. Cricket Dawes is now dead, and one explosive corporate dossier is flapping in the wind.

It is not the first time Rafferty has had a case involving a dead woman, however why is he the only one that appears to care? The police think it was just a routine mugging gone bad, while Winchester only wants the files to prove the local nuclear plant is dangerous, and Walter Hadley, Cricket’s lover and boss, should just be upset however if his wife and company learned the truth, well.

The pieces of this puzzle are all there. If only Rafferty could get them to fit together. So, continue this case and all of the screwballs that are involved, or tell Winchester to just shove it?

She’s still going to be dead no matter what, and Rafferty does not really care too much about the potential environmental catastrophe, but at least he may be able to figure out who actually killed Cricket Dawes. And make them pay.

“Wrong Place, Wrong Time” is the fourth novel in the “Rafferty: Hardboiled PI” series and was released in the year 1989. It hurts to admit it, however Toby Wells played Rafferty like a bar-room fiddle, and Luis Ortega is now dead. While the police know that Rafferty didn’t pull the trigger, that cold comfort isn’t going to keep him from looking for that sonofabitch that did.

One problem with that though. He’s a bit occupied right now attempting to get the vandals in the neighborhood to lay off of Thorney, Honeybutt’s recalcitrant great-uncle. Plus, Ortega’s previous offers zero clues as to why somebody wanted him dead to begin with, and besides, Wells isn’t anywhere to be found.

Right when Rafferty believes that he is getting somewhere, the paint bombs on Thorney’s porch escalate to some rifle shots. It would all make a lot more sense if Rafferty could work out who is firing the gun: Wells or somebody else?

Now he must keep Thorney alive, and locate the shooter, as well. Because whoever they are, they are still out there, still trigger-happy, and do not show signs of shutting down their murderous vendetta.

“Cannon’s Mouth” is the fifth novel in the “Rafferty: Hardboiled PI” series and was released in the year 1990. It is not a typical day when Rafferty is mistaken for an assassin. Rafferty, always the altruist, attempts warning the intended victim, just to find that somebody’s beaten him to it. Max Krandorff’s mutilated and dead and Rafferty’s left just holding the bag. Filed with cash.

Rafferty quickly finds that Max’s business partner, Carl’s behind this brutal killing, but damned if anybody actually knows Carl’s whereabouts. That is when the phone calls begin. The murderer wants credit for Max’s murder and his money. Or else.

Thus starts a dangerous game of cat and mouse. Max’s murderer knows all about Rafferty, where he lives and works, who he is, and even where he and Hilda sleep.

On the other hand, Rafferty knows zero about what the voice on the other end of the phone: just that if he does not find Carl and the murderer quickly, his entire world might just go up in flames.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Rafferty

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